Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview and GIveaway:The Legacy of the Key by S. L. Morgan

What inspired you to become an author? 

I really consider myself more of a ‘story-teller’ than an author/writer. I well known in my family for always having some elaborate stories to tell and entertain everyone with. The moment I decided to finally put pen to paper was when I struggled to find a different and unique book series I wanted to read. I had re-read all of my favorite novels, searched for new ones to fill this void, and then all of the sudden it hit me. Write the book you want to read, and that is when it all started.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have to listen to music. Music brings the characters and scenes to life in my head as if I were watching a movie. Then I pop open my laptop, make sure I have a piping hot cup of coffee and start in on my writing.

Do you write in different genres?

It’s interesting, this book series falls into many different genre’s on its own. Fantasy, Romance, Historical Romance, Science Fiction and Young Adult. These genres are my comfort zone and probably what I will always remain writing in. Maybe in the future, I will take on the challenge of writing children’s books.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I love fantasy, my creativity knows no bounds and fantasy allows me to go anywhere I want to with my stories.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Ancient Guardians: The Uninvited (Book 2) in the Ancient Guardians series was titled “The Uninvited” because it refers to the mystery of the book and throughout the book you will read of those showing up in places and they most definitely were not invited!

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I wait until after it is complete to ensure that it grabs the attention of readers and also refers to the plot of the book or where the book series is going.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I just want them to enjoy a world where chivalry is not dead. Where men are not possessive of women, but true love has them honoring the woman that they love and caring for her with compassion and honor. Where those in high positions (The Emperor and Empress) have a deep concern for those in need and are humble in their position in life.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Sadly, no. I only wish I was taken into the enchanting world of Pemdas.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. All books by C.S. Lewis.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would say, C.S. Lewis. He helped me to open the possibilities that you can take your storyline anywhere with fantasy. Just knowing that readers are enchanted by three kids walking through a wardrobe closet into another realm, I knew I could do anything my mind could come up with to bring readers on many unique journeys with the Guardians.

What book are you reading now?

Right now, I am locked down with editing the third book in the Ancient Guardians series. I wish I had time to read more books as they help expand my imagination, but I have to maintain my focus in getting this third book to publishing in early 2015.

What books are in your to read pile?

I couldn’t even say. I have them all loaded up on Goodreads and anxiously await to read them.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

The third book in my series is undergoing grueling edits and revisions. Once that book is published, I will dive into editing the fourth book in the Ancient Guardians series.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, the third book in the Ancient Guardians series will reveal more to the readers in the Ancient Guardians series. This book will change the entire series and set us all into a new direction and a thrilling adventure. I absolutely love this book, the romance, the adventures and the fact that readers will be able to enjoy Harrison stepping up into main character status and after two books of enjoying his humor and wit, finally they will have the enjoyable opportunity to read through his POV as well as Reece’s and Levi’s.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Love scenes between the characters. I do not want to lose my reading audience that I already have. In the third book, this challenge is more than difficult and putting me at a risk. When writing the ‘Wedding Night’ I have to take a lot into consideration. I want reader’s to enjoy the love and passion between the characters, but I can’t go overboard.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I love Jane Austen. I love books with happy endings and she gives them to us. She writes strong characters and I truly hope that I can follow in the same with my characters.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I travel through google earth. Literally. Whenever my characters go places ‘on Earth’ I have to travel to their destinations. I research hotels, flight times, locations as if I were going on vacation there myself. If I can’t visualize me going to these destinations, I can’t accurately write my characters being there.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

R'tor John Maghuyop This designer has brought both of the visions I had to the covers of my first two books better than I could have imagined. He is absolutely incredible.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t let anything stop you from telling your story. If you plan to bring your book to publish via self-publishing, make sure you hire a professional editor. Do not fall in love with your first draft because chances are, you will be changing everything. But, the changes are for the best.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? 


I would have never had the inspiration to write or "see" the book and write it down...if it weren't for music. So many different songs have helped to inspire my writing. I have to say, the Legacy of the Key would have never made it past the first paragraph if it weren't for the music of "Evanescence!" I downloaded every album and song they made from iTunes...and then the book came to life! Here's a little list of the music that inspired the book, "Legacy of the Key."

1. "End of the Dream" by Evanescence (Ride into Pemdas)

2. "An Historic Love"  by Trevor Morris, music from The Tudors (Reece trying to accept her being forced to live in Pemdas for her protection and adjust to what appears to be time travel.

3. "Lost in Paradise" by Evanescence (Reece watching the enchanting world of Pemdas change into a land of illuminating colors at night. Yet this is not her home.

4. "Snow white Queen" by Evanescence (Reece encountering the trio of girls who dislike her and degrade her in everyway possible.)

5. "Weight of the World" by Evanescence (Reece at her limit with everything)

6. "A walk in the forest" by Brian Crain (Meeting Levi in her secret location and for the first time, engaging in a normal conversation with him)

7. "Behold The Great King of England" by Trevor Morris, music from The Tudors (Returning to the palace, riding with Levi on Areion’s horse in the bitter cold)

8. "Like You" by Evanescence (Reece battles emotions about living in Pemdas and becoming attracted to a man she knows she could never have a relationship with.)

9.  "Everyday I see you" by Jessica Simpson (Levi going out of his way to bring Reece’s medical books back from Earth and studies with her)

10. "Feels like Home" by Chantel Kreviazuk (Reece becoming attached to Pemdas, starting to believe this is her home and decides to learn to horseback ride for the first time.

11. "New way to bleed" by Evanescence (After a traumatic turn of events, Levi unexpectedly returns to the palace to confront those who caused the world of Pemdas to become accountable to the Council of Worlds.)

12. "Goodbye" by The Pretenders (Levi and Reece, reunited.)

13. "Until I Collapse" by Eminem (Training Reece for their return to Earth.)

14. "The other side" by Evanescence (The Guardians leave to avenge their cause at the Council of Worlds)

15. "Numb/Encore" by Jay-Z & Linkin Park (Levi prepares Reece for their dangerous return to Earth.)

16. "How we roll" by Don Omar (Harrison’s ‘decoy’ Reece and Levi must use in order to escape an enemy that awaits their return through the vortex.

17. "Sick" by Evanescence (Levi and Harrison’s race and escape)

18. "What I've done" by Linkin Park (The terrifying motorcycle ride with Levi in order to bring Reece safely away and to the Pemdai private jet that awaits them)

19. "Empire" by Queensryche (Driving to Castle Ruin in order to face the Council of Worlds)

20. "The Change" by Evanescence (Return to Pemdas, Levi takes an alternate route with Reece.

23. "Say you will" by Evanescence (Closing the Book)

The Legacy of the Key
Ancient Guardians Series
Book One
S. L. Morgan

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy Romance
Historical, Science Fiction

Publisher: Pasidian Press

Date of Publication: December 21, 2012

ISBN-10: 0615736742
ISBN-13: 978-0615736747

Number of pages: 372
Word Count: 101,102

Book Description:

No matter where you are, facing your reality with passion and purpose will always lead down the path you were intended to go.

While Reece Bryant is making her way through this world on her own, she is suddenly confronted with the truth of her existence, and the reality of her future. It is when she encounters two alluring and mysterious men, that a series of extraordinary events takes place, putting Reece’s life in grave danger. With her life in the balance, Reece must blindly trust the two mysterious strangers; and when she does, she is brought into an enchanting world that is beyond her logical comprehension.

This captivating land reveals new worlds and new dimensions to which her existence is paramount. But it is once she falls in love with the stunning Levi Oxley that everything will change, and Reece’s life will be in more danger than ever before.

Forced to return to Earth and face a Council of Worlds, Reece discovers there is more to this enchanting dimension than she could have ever imagined.

At a moment’s notice, even thru the fog of our denial, our journey can become crystal clear. And within the revelation, once our fear subsides, we can find contentment and purpose if we focus on the things that matter most. Trust—Courage—Love

Available at  Amazon Kobo  iTunes  BN  Smashwords

The Legacy of the Key is the first installment of S.L. Morgan’s new fantasy romance novel. The romance in this novel is perfectly suitable for young adults, teens ages 13 and up.

Prepare to journey into a captivating new world…that will remove you from reality as you know it! A 2014 Global ebook Gold award winning book and a 2014 Silver award medalist in the Reader's favorite international awards.

Praise for The Legacy of the Key:

5-STARS Ancient Guardians: The Legacy of the Key by S.L. Morgan is an enchanting novel with a flawless plot, breathtakingly vivid scenery and characters that so completely come to life and are relatable. The story took me from this world and transported me to a different time and to a place so beautiful and magnificent I sometimes needed a moment to pause and just take in the breathtaking scenery described therein. ~Reader's Favorite Review by Faridah Nassozi

5- STARS "There are two words to describe this book: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. It is very difficult to put into words how much I enjoyed it. The concept of the different worlds and dimensions among us was unique and very intriguing; it immediately had me hooked.". ~Reader's Favorite Review by Cheryl Schopen

5-Stars "The book is fast paced and will take readers to another dimension altogether. It is a great roller coaster ride with fantasy, science fiction, mystery, romance, action, suspense and a new dimension all woven together.

Chapter One:

The fall semester of Temple University’s medical program in Philadelphia had finally come to an end. Reece handed in her last final, and walked out toward the area where her friend Jack was meeting her to drive her to the airport. She had been dreading this day, not because of the finals, but because she was flying back to San Diego. Halfway through the semester, Reece had been notified that she would have to return home to settle the last of her father’s estate.
Two years ago, the summer after she graduated from college, her father died of a massive heart attack. He left her alone; with no one she could call family.
She had planned to stay in San Diego to pursue her medical degree, but it took nearly everything she had to stay and cope with her father’s death. In the end, she could no longer bear to live in the city that reminded her so much of him, and their years together.
After his passing she fled to Philadelphia in search of a new life. She had settled in quickly, making a couple of friends who helped to take her mind off of what she had left behind. Her grades were excellent, and she could not have been more proud of how well she was doing on her own. She felt strong.
Now, she had to return and face again the reality of it all again; the painful memories and feelings of weakness that she had so successfully suppressed.
She was determined not to let this trip tear down the strength she had found. She refused to let the past haunt her anymore. The trip would not be a long one; she would quickly handle the paperwork regarding the sale of her father’s home, and then return to her life in Philadelphia.
“Hey, Reece,” a familiar voice called out, pulling her out of her distant thoughts. “You’re out early; I was just going to wait out at the benches for you.”
Jack was getting ready to start his internship. He was an even tempered guy, and enjoyable to be around. They had developed a quick and entirely platonic rapport from the moment they met, and he always made her feel comfortable.
She smiled. “Thanks for taking me to the airport, Jack. I hated to call you so late, but Lori’s cancellation was kind of last-minute.” Lori and Reece had shared an apartment since Reece’s arrival in Philadelphia.
Jack placed his arm around her shoulders as they started walking. “So, when is Lori going to admit she’s in love with me, and get rid of that geek, Mitch?”
Reece chuckled. “When you get over yourself, and you’ve shown you can stay in a relationship longer than one night.”
He stared back at her. “Figures. Why do women always wait for Prince Charming to come along? I could be Prince Charming if that’s what it takes.” he laughed at himself.
“Jack, I’m sure you could. I think many of your girlfriends thought you were!”
“Well, whatever dork Lori wants to date is her problem, not mine. I’ve never been the type to attract the brunettes anyway. It’s always the blonde’s that seem to be attracted to men like me.”
Reece stared at him incredulously, “You’re unbelievable.”
He laughed. “Actually, come to think of it, there is one blonde haired, blue eyed girl that hasn’t fallen for my charming sensibilities…” He looked at her and smirked.
Reece shook her head, “And that’s not going to change, either! I don’t get it.”
“Get what?”
“The fact that you have to stereotype every female you come across. How shallow can one person be? You’re actually judging your relationships with women by the color of their hair? It’s stupid, and it’s half the reason you can’t stay in a relationship longer than one day.”
Jack laughed, “Awe, Reece, that’s what I love about you, always trying to keep me in line. And you know what? You’re probably right.”
“I’m always right.”
Jack dropped her off at the airport about two hours before her flight. Airports, ugh. If there was any place that she dreaded, it was an airport full of rush and chaos. On this trip, she had enough to contend with without additional stress.
She gritted her teeth through the security inspection, then shouldered her backpack and made the rounds of the shops, hoping to keep her mind occupied. She studied what seemed to be every souvenir in the terminal, then headed over to her departure gate and found a seat. She had at least half an hour before boarding.
As she sat back, she noticed two young business men walking toward the gate. They were dressed immaculately, in perfectly tailored suits that gave off an air of absolute supremacy. It wasn’t their magnetic and powerful presence that had her studying both of them, but there was something strangely familiar about them. Even so, she couldn’t place their faces from any class she’d been in. Well, it’s obvious they wouldn’t be in college, Reece, they’re dressed like they own the airline company. Who are these guys? It was bothering her that she couldn’t identify where she had seen them before.
One was dark-haired. Tall, dark, and very handsome, she thought with an internal chuckle. He was probably in his late twenties, but had an intimidating presence. He walked as though he commanded the entire gate, perhaps the entire airport. She frowned, trying to figure out whether it was the way he held himself, or the odd sense that she knew him, that caught her attention.
The blond man beside him was about the same height, and equally stunning, but less intimidating. The good-humored expression on his face set him apart from the other man. He looked as though he was recalling the punch line to a good joke. The men walked through the waiting area and stood near the large windows, away from the crowd.
Without warning, the dark-haired man looked away from his friend and stared directly at Reece. Their eyes locked, and she startled, but tried to continue gazing casually around the room. Her eyes didn’t see what was in front of them, though; she was wondering why these men seemed familiar.
She could not resist another glance back toward the window. The blond man was already staring directly at her. Busted. Perhaps she hadn’t been as discreet as she’d thought. He smiled vibrantly at her to confirm it.
Oh, well... She gave him back a smile, and looked past him at the sky outside. Thankfully, boarding was now announced. Reece stood and turned away.
Knowing this would be a long flight, Reece had opted to fly first class. She was one of the first to board, and found a comfortable aisle seat.
Two uniformed pilots sat in the front row. Perhaps they were going to take over the flight after Chicago, where more passengers would board. As soon as the airplane moved away from the gate, Reece rested her head against the leather headrest, closed her eyes, and allowed herself to drift off. It seemed now that the long week was finally catching up with her.
She woke enough to refuse when an attendant approached her to ask about refreshments. As she laid her head back, the two pilots in the front row stood and walked toward the cockpit. That’s a bit out of the ordinary, Reece thought sleepily.
She heard a step and looked backward down the aisle. Through the curtain that separated first class from coach, stepped the two young men she had seen earlier. They didn’t stop, but walked toward the cockpit. Now, she was a little concerned. Both men looked extremely somber. She noticed their blue eyes. Very blue eyes. They were almost—they were glowing, like sapphires reflecting the light.
Reece looked around at her fellow passengers, but no one seemed to notice anything strange. In fact, no one seemed to notice anything at all; they all stared straight ahead like mannequins, and the flight attendants were nowhere to be seen.
Now the two men were in the cockpit. Must be crowded with six in there, Reece thought nervously. Her heart beat faster.
The aircraft then went through an odd array of motions. It banked hard in one direction, and then immediately dropped. Reece’s stomach reacted instantly, and she gripped the armrests so tightly there should have been finger dents in them. The plane was climbing now. She looked for some comfort from the other passengers, but found none. Everyone in the cabin was expressionless and stoic, staring blankly ahead. Reece began to wonder if it could all be some strange dream.
Just then, the plane lunged sharply forward; it felt as though they were in a nose dive, speeding back down toward the Earth. Suddenly, a flash of light lit up the cabin, blinding Reece. While she was still dazed, another blinding flash lit the cabin.
After the two bright flashes, the airplane started to level out. The lights in the cabin flickered. It seemed the bright lights were the cause of the electrical malfunctions in the aircraft. Or was it the other way around? At any rate, they were not heading downward anymore.
Reece began to calm down. The plane flew smoothly without any more abrupt movements. Quiet conversations sounded around her, and she felt as though she were waking from a trance. The cabin was dark, and the people around her were talking to each other with concern.
A voice came over the intercom. “Good evening, passengers. This is your pilot speaking. It seems that our aircraft is experiencing various forms of technical difficulty. There is no need for any undue concern, but to err on the side of caution, we have requested, and have been granted, clearance to return to Philadelphia. We are en route there now. I ask that all passengers remain seated until we return the aircraft safely to the ground.”
Reece remained quiet; she did not know what to believe. Shortly after the pilot made his announcement, the airplane began its descent. Once safely on the ground again and the airplane slowly returned to an open gate, the pilot came over the intercom again, thanking the passengers for their cooperation and expressing his apologies for the inconvenience. Reece sat in shock and wondered if it had been a dream. Dream or reality, I want off this plane, she thought, and she grabbed her backpack.
As she followed the group back into the airport, she noticed the two young men again, walking ahead of her. The blond man was acting as if he had just got off a plane in Las Vegas after a winning streak, but the dark one seemed uninterested in his friend’s enthusiasm. They stopped, both of them staring down at some object in the dark one’s hand. Reece looked at them speculatively. They raised their heads simultaneously, looking directly at her. She could not pull her questioning eyes away from them, wondering if they were the cause of the airplane’s malfunctioning. They returned her gaze, seemingly as interested in her as she was in them. Everything in her wanted to stop and question them, but for fear of making a fool of herself, she turned her attention back to the crowd in front of her and continued to walk past them. Before turning the corner, she turned back one last time. They were both staring intently at her. The dark blond smiled at her warmly. There seemed to be more behind his smile than just politeness.
After Reece managed to secure another flight out for the next morning, she called Jack for a ride home from the airport. She hated to bother him again, and should probably just take a cab ride home, but she’d rather not be in the presence of strangers after what she had just experienced. Jack had wasted no time returning to pick her up, and she was grateful for it. The distress of the strange flight started to diminish as soon as she was away from the airport.
Jack dropped Reece of at her apartment. “Marti’s later?” he asked.
It was their usual coffee shop. “Sure.” she smiled at him. “Lori will bring Mitch; think you can stand it?”
He clasped his hands dramatically. “Ah, my broken heart!” Then he reverted to his normal voice. “Pick you up at six, okay?”
Reece dumped her backpack at the door, plopped down onto the sofa, and turned on the television. She dropped her purse to the floor next to her and grabbed the remote. Flipping through the channels, she found a sea life documentary to watch. Graceful dolphins, swimming, swimming... Suddenly, she felt as if it were three in the morning; she could hardly keep her eyes open. She let her body relax and closed her eyes.
She woke abruptly from a dreamless sleep, thinking she’d heard the door. She sat up, looking toward the door, expecting Lori to enter. There was no sign of Lori, and no sign the door had been opened. The deadbolt remained in the locked position.
Old building noises. She sank back into the sofa, pulling over her the blanket they kept draped over the back. She leaned over to grab the remote control from the coffee table.
Something moved. In the kitchen? It was just a glimpse, out of the corner of her eye. She sat back, taking slow breaths. Probably nothing. She stared into the kitchen—open to the living room, with a counter between.
Phone. She picked up her purse and fumbled around for her cell phone. As she retrieved the phone, she looked up and was stupefied by the figure standing in front of her. She tried to blink it away, but it remained; solid, unmoving.
“Dad?” she whispered.
She stared in amazement at the image of her father, standing in her living room. He didn’t move, or respond to her. He stood there, expressionless, as if he was studying her.
Reece felt as if a heavy weight had landed on her, instantly paralyzing her. She could not do anything except stare at him. He was wearing the clothes he had worn the last time she saw him; dark brown slacks, and a crisp, blue shirt.
Suddenly, he smiled his heartwarming smile.
Reece’s eyes filled with tears, and the image blurred. She’d forgotten how much she missed him. She felt a flood of repressed emotions far greater than those she’d feared her trip to San Diego would evoke. His face, his presence, and his smile brought back vivid memories of him and their life together; memories she had tried to set aside so she could function without him. These were the memories that made her wonder how she could go through the rest of her life alone.
Frightened by the realization that her deceased father standing in front of her, she squeezed her eyes shut, hoping this image would go away. Strangely, the weight lifted slowly, and she regained control of her large muscles. When she dared to open her eyes, he was gone. She felt both frustration and relief. Was her perpetual anxiety over her impending trip causing hallucinations now? She needed to get hold of herself.
Slam! Reece leaped off the sofa and turned back toward the door.
“Geez, girl! What are you doing here?” It was Lori, jumping back into the doorway and dropping her Keys.
With her hand over her heart, Lori stared at Reece in shock. Reece was the mirror image of Lori, with her hand covering her chest. She took a deep calming breath. “Sorry Lori, my flight was pushed out until tomorrow. The plane had issues or something.”
Lori let out a sigh of relief and bent over to pick up her Keys. “Well, that’s…” she started.
“Never a good thing, I know.” Reece finished her sentence.
An hour later, they were all in Jack’s car. He drove the car as if he were in a high-speed chase.
“Slow it down, Jack,” Reece said. “I knew I should have taken own my car,” she muttered to Lori who sat next to her in the back seat.
Lori smiled and leaned forward to put a hand on Mitch’s shoulder. “You’re driving next time, honey.”
“Hey,” said Mitch, “I’m actually enjoying myself. It’s not every day I get to jump into a classic ‘67 Camaro SS. I’m curious, how fast can these cars really go?”
A large smile stretched across Jack’s face. “I can fix your curiosity if you’d like.”
Lori exhaled ostentatiously. “Why don’t you do that after you drop us off, Jack? Then you both can go kill yourselves together. What is it with men and cars?”
Reece shrugged her shoulders. More talk about cars would just encourage Jack to do something stupid. “Hey, what do you guys think about going to dinner instead of coffee? I’m not really in the mood to sit in a coffee shop right now. School’s out and we’ve spent enough time there studying for finals.”
Lori smiled. “Good call, Reece. I’m hungry, anyways. Let’s go to that new Italian restaurant. It’s supposed to be nice.”
Jack laughed and responded. “Whatever you women want, I’m just the driver.” he looked toward Mitch. “You cool with that, Mitch? Oh wait, never mind, you’re always cool with anything.”
He tried to make eye contact with Reece in the rearview mirror. Reece ignored him pointedly, looking out the window.
They were stopped at a red light, a block south of the restaurant. Pedestrians hurried past on the sidewalks. Two of them—What?—two of them were the young men who’d been on the airplane. Reece’s heart raced.
“Reece? What are you staring at?” Lori had grabbed her arm.
“What? Um, well, there was… it’s just...” She turned back to look out the window, and the two men were gone.
“Just what, Reece?” Lori said, trying to look past Reece out the window.
“Oh, nothing. My mind was somewhere else. I’m sorry, what were you saying?”
Lori laughed. “Girl, you need a cocktail or something! You’re starting to act delirious.” she laughed, but her eyes showed concern.
“I just need to eat something; it’s been a long day.”
The restaurant’s parking lot was full. “Well, of course, this place is packed! Hopefully, the garage we passed has a spot available.” Jack huffed. “You girls need to learn how to cook dinner or something. By the time it takes me to park, you both could have cooked and served us men a nice, healthy meal.” He spun the car back down an alley to find more parking.
“We ‘girls’?” said Lori. “You ‘men’? Learn to cook yourself, Jack! Until then, just park the car and quit complaining, or you can wait with it until we finish.” They pulled into an extra parking area and found a spot. Before he was out of his car, Jack noticed another car nearby. “Are you serious!” he said, walking up to it. “Check out this car, guys. It’s like some prototype or something.”
Mitch walked over to the car while Reece and Lori stared at them both, annoyed by the delay.
Lori called out to them, “It’s nice, Jack. What is it, a Porsche or something?”
Jack laughed as he walked the length of the sporty black car. “It’s not a Porsche. I’ve never read, or heard, about anything like this! I wonder whose it is; this car has to be worth well over a hundred thousand bucks!”
As he walked closer, the car emitted a warning sound. Reece crossed her arms. “Jack, can we GO? You are most likely about to meet the owner; I’m sure it has some kind of pager. I’m ready to eat.”
Jack’s head snapped up, and he walked away from the car; turning back over and over, as if he wanted to check it out one more time.
Once inside the restaurant, they were seated in a secluded, candle-lit nook behind a red brick archway. While waiting for their orders, they engaged in conversation about their challenging finals earlier that day. As usual, Jack entertained the group with his natural humor. It was definitely the environment Reece needed to take her mind off of the strange events from earlier.
In the midst of her laughter, Reece glanced up to see if the waitress was returning with their meals, only to be frozen in shock. Across the way, the two men from the plane were sitting at a table which faced theirs. The blond man was staring directly at her, and when she tried to act as though she hadn’t noticed them, he raised his wine glass in her direction and smiled.
She looked back to Lori and Mitch sitting across from her, trying to shake herself into reality. Are they following me? Who are these guys?
Lori looked at her quizzically. “Reece, are you okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
Reece shook her head and tightened her fist angrily. This could not be happening.
“What do you need?” Jack said. “I’ll get the waitress. Why are you so tense?”
Reece heard all of their voices like echoes in the background as she pulled herself together. She closed her eyes and unclenched her fists. “Water,” she said softly. “I just wanted to see if refills were coming.”
She had to pull it together, and she would do it now. Reece would not allow these men to intimidate her in anyway. Whether or not these two interesting men had anything to do with the strange occurrences on the plane, or if they were following her now, she would prove to them she wasn’t afraid of them. Inwardly she was concerned, but she would not let them see that.
Jack was the one to break the silence. “All of this over a glass of water? Stay here; I’ll go get the waitress.” Reece clutched his hand. “Sheesh, Reece, can you release the death grip? I won’t make a scene, but Lori’s right; you look like you’ve had a paranormal experience or something.”
Shortly thereafter, the waitress appeared with refills, followed by other staff with their plates. Jack sat back, and once the staff left, Reece laughed. “Sorry guys, it has been a very long day. I think I just need to eat. This food smells delicious, doesn’t it?”
Her friends looked worried. She knew they’d never seen her act this way. And quite frankly, she was beginning to worry herself.
Reece ignored their discomfort. She started in on her plate, took a bite, and smiled brilliantly. “Guys, stop staring at me, we don’t need any more drama.” she laughed as she took another bite, “Now, what were we talking about before I almost melted down over a glass of water?”
Jack didn’t hesitate to break up the awkward moment. While he continued to relax everyone at the table with his humor, Reece reached for her glass of wine. She felt the eyes of the men stealing glances at her, and now it was time to show them, they didn’t intimidate her.
She looked over at their table. Both men were engaged in conversation, but must have noticed Reece watching them. The dark haired man looked over at her, bringing the blond one’s eyes to follow his gaze. After Reece had the blond man’s attention, she arched her brow, raised her wineglass to him, and smiled with confidence. The darker one’s lips turned up slightly, while he brought his attention back to his friend, the one who Reece was gazing directly at. The blond chuckled softly, and returned her smile with amusement. Then, without another glance back to Reece, he returned to his plate before him.
Handsome or not, Reece was annoyed that these two mysterious men were playing games with her. It was best if she just ignored them from here on out. She knew if she didn’t, it would not take much for her to walk over to their table and start demanding answers. With that in mind, she engaged herself in the lively conversation her friends were now having, and ignored any desire to return her attention back to the men.
The rest of dinner was uneventful, and Jack entertained everyone so well that they seemed to forget about Reece’s odd behavior.
Back at the apartment, Reece wished Lori a good night, and fell into bed. The alarm clock would ring soon enough.

About the Author:

International Award winning author S. L. Morgan grew up in the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Over the past nine years, she and her husband, Jason Morgan, their three kids moved throughout the United States. Recently, S.L. Morgan was blessed to move back to her hometown of Oakhurst California where she is currently editing the third book in the Ancient Guardians Novel Series.

S.L. Morgan was born telling vivid and long stories to anyone who would listen. With a personality that is extremely driven, she finally decided to put her stories to paper. With her passion and love for Jane Austen classics and the wonderful imaginative books from C.S. Lewis, she created the new Novel Series, Ancient Guardians.

Recently S.L. Morgan has been honored with awards for The Legacy of the Key, winning the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Silver medal for Fiction: Supernatural and also winning gold in the Global eBook awards for Fiction: Fantasy Romance. The Legacy of the Key was also a recipient of four 5-star review seals from Reader’s Favorite reviews.

With her second book in the series published, receiving a 5-star seal from Reader’s Favorite Reviews and now a nominee for the Global e-book award, S.L. Morgan is currently working on edits for the third book in her series.

When not entirely consumed by writing and editing, S.L. Morgan absolutely loves to be out on her boat in the summer or hitting the slopes in when winter comes around. She prides herself in her Starbucks Gold card and is convinced this series would have never made it to publishing without a Venti Café Americano.

With a profound love for her family, life and friends; S.L. Morgan enjoys every minute of every day, endeavoring to live her life at its fullest. With a very open and friendly personality, she enjoys interacting with her reader’s and helping those in need.

Humbled with every book review, be them good or bad, S.L. Morgan continues to write in her series with the hopes of entertaining more and more reader’s everyday.

Twitter: @slmorgan1

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